If you’ve been hearing a lot about kratom recently and are wondering whether or not it’s for you, you’re going to want to read on. This article contains everything you need to know about this new miracle plant before you try it out. So, without further ado, here are our science-backed findings.
What is Kratom?
It’s a plant scientifically known as Mitragyna Speciosa and native to Thailand, Indonesia, and the surrounding areas. Historically, it’s been an integral part of the societies in which it was available, whether it was for purposes therapeutic or religious. Most commonly, kratom leaves were brewed into a tea by the laborers who needed to alleviate their physical pain or increase their productivity. Not just that, but it was also used to treat morphine and opioid dependency in many countries. That said, what makes Kratom so popular nowadays, and where do its benefits come from?
It all goes back to the chemical composition of the plant. While the leaves contain raubasine (treats high blood pressure), corynanthidine (treats hypertension), and Rhynchophylline (treats lightheadedness, convulsions, and hypertension), the main active ingredients are mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine (7-HMG). These ingredients are highly effective as pain relievers, anti-inflammatory agents, and muscle relaxants.
This makes kratom an effective form of natural medication when it comes to muscle tension, arthritis, cardiac ailments, and chronic fatigue. As for the plant’s stimulatory effects, these are highly dependent on the dose you take. A small dose has been shown to heighten the senses and stimulate the body and mind. On the other hand, larger doses have more of a sedative effect.
Safety and Usage
To put your mind at ease, when consumed in moderation kratom is perfectly safe, and not just that, but packed with benefits, too. However, as with any other substance, when abused, that’s when its adverse effects start showing. Keep in mind that the safety of the product also depends on your chosen supplier. According to this guide, your supplier should lab-test their plant to ensure that you’re getting high-quality, potent leaves. If you find a product of good quality and manage to stick to the recommended dosage, you’ll be guaranteed to get the most out of the plant.
There are many ways to consume kratom and varied dosages, but if this is your first time, you’re going to want to start with something as low as 2g of kratom powder, then increase to get the effect you want. Keep in mind, kratom powder is weaker than extract, so if you’re taking the extract, start with 1g instead. As with any type of medication, there are possible, yet uncommon side effects to taking kratom, particularly high doses. These include nausea and constipation. Add to that, with excessive, long-term use, it’s possible to achieve chemical dependency. Needless to say, as long as you’re monitoring and moderating your intake, you’ll be safe from side effects.
Is It Legal?
The legality of the plant has been a topic of controversy for many years, but now the matter is much clearer than it was before. Up until 2018, kratom was banned in Thailand and listed as an illegal substance. In 2018, the government decided to legalize the plant for medicinal purposes, and in 2021, the plant was taken off of the narcotics list, according to the Thai digital newspaper, The Nation. Meaning, the plant was approved for personal use though not for anyone under 18 years old. And the production was approved for those with proper permits. Following this example, many countries are taking steps to fully legalize the plant.
As for kratom’s legal status in the United States, the stance varies from state to state with the majority viewing it as a legal substance, others as a controlled substance, and only six states have banned it. In addition, the plant is legal in most EU countries. To sum up, while we now know how the plant is viewed in the eyes of many a nation’s law. The global legal climate is still at odds with the majority of countries being pro-kratom and the minority being against it.
If you haven’t consumed kratom before, it’s important to inform your healthcare provider. Especially if you are currently on other medications or have any pre-existing kidney or liver conditions. With the help of a doctor, you can figure out the dosage that’ll help you get the benefits you seek. Without overwhelming your body.
While kratom is packed with health benefits, from anti-inflammatory properties to anxiety-relieving ones, it shouldn’t be used as a sole treatment. It can be highly effective as a supplement only, and as we’ve mentioned before, moderation is key.